Those of us born in prior generations are used to certain innate complexities about insurance. We are almost immune to the thick stack of documents that accompany a policy. We’re not particularly upset about having to jump in a car to visit our insurance agent’s office to ask a question or pay a bill. We somehow are even understanding about delays associated with getting a claim adjustment or an appraisal completed.
But, in June, Millennial demographics crossed the chasm. Millennials exceeded a quarter of the population, passing the number of baby boomers. The question for business is, Are we ready? Do we truly know our new consumer; do we understand what they want, what they need, and what they like?
It seems obvious that generations get older and that things change, but did we miss the Millennial switch? Are we still stuck thinking about the customer of yesterday and today, or did we start to shift to meet the demands of the customer of tomorrow?
The Millennial consumer does not have our patience and understanding. This consumer has seen great companies like Google, Amazon, Apple and others consistently deliver on their promise by providing excellent service. Millennials demand the same in insurance – the speed and quality, simplicity and transparency, fairness and flexibility.
Millennial consumers do not understand why insurance has to be so complicated that it almost requires a degree in insurance to truly grasp it or why the policy cannot be acquired, managed and paid for easily online or over mobile. This consumer doesn’t understand when 24/7 service is not available and definitely does not understand when certain insurance activities take weeks to finalize. A Millennial knows that he can acquire money from any of his friends worldwide in a matter of minutes and does not understand when payments from a worldwide enterprise take weeks. Likewise, a Millennial doesn’t understand when claim information captured immediately during the incident cannot be delivered and reviewed in real-time and why almost every claim no matter how small must go through a process that could come out of a CSI episode.
As an industry, we are already too late. The industry finds itself experiencing a true generational gap between the insurance organization and the Millennial consumer.
What the new insurance customer demands requires more than just fine tuning of existing methods, technologies and business processes. There is a need to re-invent insurance as a whole, and innovative technology and products are the key.